An Overview of Literacy Development Now on YouTube

Today, a new string is added to the bow of The Literacy Bug ... we are now on YouTube. We've added our first video presentation to the public domain, which you can find below and at the following link:

The presentation is entitled An Overview of Literacy Development, and it clocks in at one hour long. So grab your popcorn, sit back, watch/listen and enjoy. The presentation slides are available for download here.

In the presentation, there is discussion of the many components of literacy development, the stages of literacy development, and the dual-demands of "code-based" and "meaning-based" practices. To be exact, the presentation sets out to meet the following objectives:

  • To explore the components of literacy development (e.g. oral language development, phonemic awareness, etc);
  • To explore the stages of literacy development (i.e. the gradual, cumulative nature of literacy development);
  • To understand the difference between code-based skills and meaning-based skills;
  • To understand the four levels of processing texts / reading text; and
  • To appreciate how learners are active participants as the makers of meaning, the constructors of knowledge and members of communities.

Let us know what you think. It's an experiment, and we plan for more presentations in the future.

Below is the audio from the presentation. Whilst it includes references to the visuals, the audio may well make sense on its own. If you would prefer to listen, feel free to play online or download for offline use.

Welcome to this new step in the journey. We hope the presentation is useful and thought-provoking. Please explore and enjoy!

Podcast #5: A Response to "Encoding, Decoding and Understanding (Print) Language"

Welcome to another episode of The Literacy Bug Podcast! This week I respond to the recent blog entry called “Encoding, Decoding and Understanding (Print) Language”. In the mentioned blog entry, I casually glossed over the importance of oral language comprehension in the role of literacy development. In glossing over oral comprehension, I did not neglect or undermine its significance. In fact, I acknowledge the complexity and significance of language comprehension in propelling the need to encode and decode anything in the first place. In this podcast, I explore that which was left unexplored: the intricate relationship between print processing, language development and cognitive processing. Please listen, explore and enjoy! We aim to bring many more episodes in the coming weeks. (

Podcast #4: Targeted Teaching Relies on Quality Assessment Practices

Even though we are referring to this as the fourth episode of the podcast, it is the first one under the name The Literacy Bug. Originally, in its previous form, the podcast applied Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language to the domain of literacy. Since then, the podcast and its associated website ( have evolved into something a little less esoteric and a lot more practical; we explore everyday issues pertaining to literacy teaching and learning. Without further ado, we launch into the first official podcast under the name The Literacy Bug. The topic is assessment. I would like to demonstrate how proper assessment practices are essential for effective teaching and learning, because they contribute to targeted, equitable instruction. We hope this is the beginning of many more episodes to come. (

Podcast #3: Commanding a Clear View

Welcome to the third episode of the Wittgenstein On Learning Podcast. In this episode, I discuss Wittgenstein's concept of commanding a clear view. Given the amount of time spent recently on literacy pedagogy in the blog (, some may be surprised at the choice of topic. However, the topic makes perfect sense. Over the past few weeks, I have been committed to gaining a clear view of the topics of language and literacy development. I have taken a reflective stance of seeking an overarching description of my topic. With such a viewpoint, it is easier to "find my way about". In this podcast, I speak about commanding a clear view in a more general way, and I speak about the significant yet difficult task of developing a synoptic view over our knowledge. That said, any such achievement must be balanced with real practice. In other words, a thinker must spend time ommanding a clear view whilst also getting to the rough ground  to test and refine one's ideas. Or as Wittgenstein puts it, "thinking too has a time for ploughing and a time for gathering the harvest." (Culture & Value).

Podcast #2: Wittgenstein's Concept of Language Games

This is the second episode of the Wittgenstein On Learning Podcast. In this episode, I discuss Wittgenstein's concept of language games. The concept of language games serves as a central features of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Through this concept, Wittgenstein is able to take a more anthropological or ethnographic approach to language by emphasising how language is acquired, developed and justified within contexts. In this episode, I explore (a) how language is acquired in contexts through engagement in various communities of practice; (b) how individuals develop a range of concepts over time that become applied to experience, and (c) how it important for individuals to become critically aware of the discourses that are used to explain and interpret experiences and events.  I welcome people to listen to the podcast for more, and I invite comments and questions. (

Podcast #1: An Introductory Episode

The podcast will provide a further outlet to present ideas in relation to the impact of Wittgensteinian ideas on contemporary discussions of language learning, literacy acquisition, cultural practices and the development of knowledge. The first episode provides an introduction to the website as well as a brief contrast between the treatment of language (and literacy) in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigation. To keep the contemporary feel, the contrast is applied to Paris's (2005) presentation of constrained skills theory in relation to literacy development. I welcome people to listen to the podcast for more, and I look forward to taking further advantage of the medium as a complement to journal entries and other content on the website. (